Although there wasn't any big change in our rating system this year, there were some minor tweaks. Currently this system translates my opinion about games very well. It's easier to understand my rating, if I, and also You know what a score factually means in each category.
1: Fully abstract, no theme at all. For instance: Blackgammon.
2: No theme, just a small story. For instance: Hive.
3: There is some theme, but it isn't an organic part of the game. The game would work with any other theme too.
4: Good theme, contributes to the positive game experience. Helps player immersion.
5: The theme really enhances the game experience. Players who know the game love the theme as much as the mechanics. Very easy immersion.
Look of the game
1: Ugly, non-existing graphics, stock photos, silly cover art. The look worsens the gameplay experience.
2: Not a nice game. It lacks in graphics, illustrations, and general outlook. Negative gameplay modifier,
3: Not nice, but not ugly. The look of the game doesn't affect gameplay experience.
4: Good looking game, with positive gameplay experience modifier.
5: beautiful graphics standard style. The look of the game is a standalone treat, conveys a story, a mood.
Quality of the game
1: Poor quality. The cards bend, the plastic components are covered with mold lines. The metal components break easily, a box of the game starts to come apart after a couple of use. There aren't any insert or zip bags in the box
2: Barely acceptable. The components are made from the cheapest, durable materials. They aren't perfect, but not visually bad. The wear with use. No insert, but some zip bags.
3: Mediocre quality. Not good, not bad either. Standard materials, standard work. The components may vary. The game has holding/transporting insert in the boksz (the one, which only holds the components in place during transport, but you will throw out eventually.
4: Good quality. Most of the components, the ones you use most often are good and sturdy things. There can be difference between the various components, but the weakest ones are still not bad. The don't wear easily. The insert in the box is useful, and you will keep it.
5: All the components are superior quality, from the best materials. The don't wear or tear. The insert in the box has place for future expansions, and speeds up the setup.
Complexity of rules / Learnability
1: Hard and complex rules, with cross-references, special cases, and exemptions. You heve to search the rulesbook a lot, and if you don't play the game every week, you have to re-learn the rules. You have to scroll through the rulebook every time you play.
2: Not easy to learn or teach. Complex rules, special cases and exemptions are present. But if you learn to play, you don't have re-learn the whole rules again. You don't have to look up everything during game sessions.
3: Not easy, but not hard to learn.
4: Easy to learn and teach. The rulebook is consistent and logical, there are few special cases or exemptions. You can play most of the sessions without touching the rulebook.
5: Easy to learn and teach. The rulebook is consistent and logical, there are few special cases or exemptions. The rules are organic and self-explanatory. Once learnt, you can forget the rulebook.
1: Legacy; you can play it once.
2: You can replay the game, but there is a reachable end of replayability.
3: You can replay the game, but the players can feel like it has end of replayability
4: Good replayability. Depending on player count and mechanics, the game gives good replay value.
5: Excellent replayability. All mechanics in the game support replay, alone and together. For example; modular board, variable setup, variable player powers, and such gives you unlimited replay value.
Complexity of the game / strategy
1: Roll, move, that's the game. No complexity at all. Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly. Ludo.
2: The rules and the components of the game give minimal, and easily recognizable ways to win the game.
3: You can win the game multiple ways. There is some complexity, but the players know that some strategies are better than others.
4: You can win the game by multiple, equally strong stategies. The game has complexity, and the players' every choice affects the outcome.
5: You can win the game by any possible strategy, and you can implement the strategies multiple ways. Every action, every choice, and even their combinations has its own effect. There is good assymetrical rules for every player in the game.
Subjective gameplay experience
1: Failed, no boardgame experience at all. This is not a board game, and don't want to play with it anymore. For example: Galaxy Truckers, Cosmic Encounter.
2: Barely a board game for me. I'm willing to play with it with homebrew rules but only if somebody forces me. For example: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Munchkin
3: Not bad, but not good either. It feels good to play, but I don't want to play with it regularly.
For example: Santorini, Warpgate
4: Good game, gives positive exeperience most of the time. I have a positive opinion about the game, and I like to play it.
5: Excellent experience. The mechanics and the theme always give me harmonic gameplay experience. Always want to play. These are the stapley of our household. If somebody comes to play with us these are my recommended games. For example: Twilight Imperium, Village, Yedo, Firefly, Terraforming Mars